Buffy was startled to see Spike
sitting up with his head against the headboard when she returned
from the bathroom. “Hey,” she greeted in surprise. His eyes were
still closed, but he grunted slightly, confirming that he was
awake. Spike licked his lips in an attempt to moisten them.
“Water?” he requested.
“Yeah,” she replied eagerly, returning to the bathroom and
grabbing the glass by the sink. She filled it to the top before
walking into the bedroom and sitting down on the edge of the bed
beside Spike. “Here,” she said, tilting the glass towards his
lips. His hand reached up and overlapped hers as he took the glass
“Thanks. I’ve got it.”
He didn’t open his eyes until he’d finished off the entire glass.
Buffy smiled and took it from him, setting it down on the
nightstand. “We really need to get you to a hospital,” she noted
“Didn’t really do much for me last time, from what I can remember.
We didn’t stay long.”
Spike let out a heavy cough that he’d been holding in while he
“I figure it’s better to try,” she said.
He nodded in agreement before closing his eyes and drifting off
again. Buffy hated leaving the room, but Giles was only a few
doors away. She asked him to drive her and Spike to the nearest
hospital, even if it meant venturing back to L.A. Giles dressed
quickly and followed her back to 203.
“Where are you going?” asked Dawn, walking out of her room fully
dressed. “Are you taking Spike to the hospital?”
“Yes. You stay here with the others.”
Dawn scoffed. “No way, I’m coming with you.”
Buffy sighed. “Dawn, we can’t all come.”
“I’m small, I can squeeze in. Besides, who else is coming?”
Buffy rolled her eyes. “Fine. Bring everyone. Maybe we take some
gas from the rental and put it into the other car.”
* * * *
“Here,” said Kennedy, handing Illyria a red t-shirt and some black
slacks. “You might want to change out of that… thing.”
“Change?” Illyria looked down at her leather garment, and when her
eyes returned to Kennedy’s it had vanished.
“Oh my god!” Kennedy exclaimed, shocked to see the woman suddenly
nude before her. She was awfully… blue. “Wow, um,” she said
nervously, glad that Dawn had left to find Giles and that Willow
was still in the bathroom. “Wow. Yeah. H-Here you go,” she said,
handing her the clothes. She turned away and couldn’t help but
smile. “I’ve got, um, some shoes you could borrow. Although
they’re my only other pair. You should…”
Kennedy was once again surprised to see Illyria standing there,
fully clothed despite the fact that the shirt and slacks she’d
given her lay folded on the bed. Kennedy gaped at her.
“It’s a simple modulation of my form,” Illyria informed her,
blanching somewhat as she remembered the last person she'd spoken
those words to.
Willow walked out of the bathroom with her toothbrush hanging out
of her mouth. She took in Illyria's seemingly normal presence and
Kennedy’s awed face. “You OK?”
* * * *
Everyone checked out of their rooms and put their bags in the
trunks of the two cars. Willow approached Buffy before they set
off. “Hey, what are we going to do about Angel?”
Buffy closed her eyes. “Oh god, I forgot all about that. I’m
“No, sweetie, we understand. We just… we don’t know what to do. I
mean, if his son’s in trouble and he can’t do anything about it,
what do we do? Should I do another locator spell?”
Buffy wondered why she even asked, when just a few days before she
had all the initiative she needed. The guilty look on Willow’s
face was answer enough. “Yeah. I guess we’ll see what we can do
after we get Spike to the hospital. Once you find Angel, stay with
Spike. I need someone with some firepower to protect him if
anything comes after him.”
Willow nodded. “Will do. And Buff?”
“Yeah?” She paused as she opened the car door.
“It’ll be OK.”
Buffy smiled. “Thanks.”
* * * *
“C’mon, Connor. It’ll be OK. Just…”
“I’m fine, Dad.” Connor winced as he pulled an arrow from his
shoulder. “You stay in here. I’ll fight them.”
“No way,” said Angel, firmly placing a hand on his son’s uninjured
shoulder. “You’re not fighting them alone.”
“You can’t. The sun’s up, you’ll die.”
“Yes, but you can’t take them alone.”
“Do you want to just stay in here and let them kill us?”
Angel realized there was nothing he could do. “No.”
“I can take them,” Connor said with determination. “Now let me
Reluctantly, Angel removed his hand and Connor charged after the
men. Angel instantly regretted his decision as he watched them
“What have I done?”
* * * *
"Oh my god,” said Buffy, looking down at all of the forms the
assistant had given her to fill out. “What am I supposed to do
about insurance? We can’t possibly pay for this.”
“Oh, let me do that,” said Willow, taking the clipboard from her.
Buffy stared at her, wide-eyed, as Willow filled out the
information. “William Rosenberg?”
“Yeah,” said Willow as she continued to write. “See, I kind of
panicked when we first took him to the hospital, so I put my name
“Is he supposed to be your husband or something?” Buffy asked,
Willow laughed. “God, no. See, last night I got online and…” she
looked up, a hint of shame in her eyes, “did some hacking into my
insurance company’s database. It now turns out that I have a
cousin named William who is fully ensured.”
“Isn’t that illegal?”
Willow’s triumphant face melted into insecurity. “Well, yeah. But
hey, what exactly are we supposed to do? Look up coverage for the
formerly undead? This is the best shot we’ve got. Besides, now
that he’s human, we’re going to have to lie about more than
Buffy sighed and twitched in her seat, her eyes on the emergency
room doors. “I want to know what’s going on.”
“They’ll take care of him, Buffy,” said Dawn, handing her sister a
cup of warm coffee and sitting down with her legs folded beneath
her. “He was looking a lot better than he did last night. H-How
was he?” she asked softly.
“Um…” Buffy wasn’t sure she wanted to share. “It was really hard.
But he’s here now, and you’re right. He should be fine.”
“What about Angel?” Xander asked, sitting as far away from Illyria
as the small waiting room would allow. “What are we going to do
Buffy turned to Willow. “When can you work on that locator spell?”
“In just a sec,” Willow replied, hastily scribbling down the last
bits of information on the clipboard. She stood and walked to the
nurse’s station and gave the woman the information. “One crisis at
a time,” she told her friends. Willow grabbed her bag by the chair
and she, Buffy and Kennedy headed towards the ladies’ bathroom.
“Dawn, stay here in case we hear something?”
Dawn nodded, and Buffy sighed with relief. She didn’t want her
sister in on the Angel situation. It sounded dangerous, and they
already had enough on their plates already.
Buffy locked the door behind them and stood with her arms crossed
as she watched Kennedy help Willow prepare for the spell.
“No no,” corrected Willow. “Put that over there.”
“Oh, is it the same for vampires, too?” Kennedy asked.
“I’m not doing a locator spell on Angel. I’m doing one on Connor.”
“Right,” Kennedy replied as she lit a match. “I still don’t
understand how he’s human when he had two vamps for parents. More
than that, how could two vamps be parents?”
“Once you realize that nothing in this world makes sense, you’ll
be less confused.”
Buffy smiled. Willow – always one with the wise words.
* * * *
Connor shouted loudly as he charged into another fighter, sending
his sword flying. He caught it while it was still in the air and
swung it at a man with a mace, disarming him. Connor shoved the
sword in his chest. Well, thought Angel as he fought the
urge to jump out into the sunlight and protect his son, at
least they’re human. Easy to kill.
Connor had taken out seven of the black clad warriors before Angel
saw one of the fallen rise from the ground. What the hell?
“Connor, behind you!”
The man flew backwards as Connor kicked him in the chest. “What
the hell is happening?” he shouted as more of the fallen rose up
and started attacking him.
“They must be zombies,” Angel shouted. “I hate zombies,” he
muttered to himself, itching to join in the fray. “Hey, zombie…
ninja guys!” he cried out lamely, calling the attention of the
three who were just rising from the ground. “Over here!” They
started running towards the front door. Angel punched the first
one as it came at him and it fell to the ground. He grabbed its
sword and glared at the other two. “And now we fight.”
* * * *
“Wow, pretty schnazzy suburban area,” commented Willow once they’d
pinpointed Connor’s location.
“OK,” said Buffy. “Let’s go.” They gathered the spell ingredients
and returned to the waiting area. “Kennedy? You’re with me. I’ll
need another Slayer to back me up. Willow, you’re here.”
“Giles, stay with Dawn and Andrew. Xander…”
“Yeah?” he said hopefully.
“Come with us. We need to split up evenly.”
Everyone nodded and Buffy’s group moved towards the doorway.
“What about me?” Buffy turned and was startled to see Illyria
staring at her, a mere six inches from her face. “I can fight.”
Buffy thought it over. She had been the one to save Spike, and
Willow said she’d killed two assassins already. Maybe it was
better if she stayed behind to help protect the others. “No,”
Buffy said to herself. “You come with us. Let’s just hurry up and
get on it.”
* * * *
“Damn it!” Angel cried. He’d grabbed an axe from one of the
zombies and started hacking away at them, but that did nothing to
faze them. Arms crawled, legs lumbered, and heads rolled towards
him. “This is insane!”
Connor ducked another blow from the mace and swiveled around to
cut the zombie in half with his sword. Its torso fell to the
ground behind its legs, which began kicking madly at him. “No
kidding! You OK in there?”
Angel grunted as he was thrown to the wall by a one armed zombie.
“Still in one piece.”
The sun was blazing overhead. It was just past noon, they had been
fighting for hours. Angel couldn’t believe it – he’d survived a
horde of demonic creatures two nights ago, and now he was being
beaten down by a pack of… regenerative zombies?
Angel watched as a headless zombie grabbed its head off of the
ground and plopped it back on its shoulders. A strange glow
radiated from the separated flesh and then the head was fully
restored. “Oh, shit!” he cried, realizing that the battle would
most likely continue until the sun went down. “Connor, they can
His son responded with a pain-stricken yelp. Angel turned to see
him fall to the ground, blood quickly staining his navy shirt.
“Connor? No!” Angel charged towards the door – sunlight be
damned. Once he arrived at the threshold he fell back as he
was suddenly attacked by a powerful force.
“None of that, big guy,” said a young girl with dark hair as she
pulled off of him. “We’ll get him. Don’t go setting yourself on
fire just yet.”
Angel looked past her through the doorway and saw Connor being
hauled away from the fighting by a man with an eye patch. Was
that… Xander? Then he saw Buffy, jumping into the fray with scythe
in hand. The scoobies had arrived.
Kennedy helped Angel to his feet and aided him in fighting the
zombies – and zombie parts – that posed a danger inside the house.
* * * *
“Connor?” said Xander to the wounded boy as he pulled him into the
backseat of the rental. He closed the door behind them and grabbed
onto the sword he’d brought with him “That’s your name, right? Can
you hear me?”
“Let me go,” the boy sputtered, his eyes unfocused and his bloody
hands shaking. “I need to fight.”
Xander shook his head. “No, you need to stay here. Looks like one
of them sliced you pretty good.”
There was a deep, diagonal gash running across the boy’s chest and
upper abdomen. Xander also noticed a bloody stain on his shoulder
where an arrow must’ve hit him. Connor shot him a defiant look as
he clenched his jaw. “I’ve had worse.”
“Well, let’s hope we can get everyone out of here before you die.”
“What?” said Connor, a bit of fear creeping into his voice.
Xander shook his head and smiled. “Nothing. You just hang in
* * * *
Dawn jumped to her feet when she saw one of the doctors
“How is he? Is he going to be OK?”
She was fourteen again, standing in the hospital next to Buffy.
'You’re mom will be fine,' the doctor lied. 'She’ll be just fine.'
“He’s just come out of surgery,” said the doctor. “We’ve moved him
to recovery, and he should wake up in a few hours.”
Everyone stared at him apprehensively, practically on their
tiptoes as they waited for what they wanted to here.
“He’s going to be fine. Give it a few days and he’ll be ready to
“Really?” asked Dawn hopefully.
The doctor nodded and smiled. “He’s lucky. Just a few years ago
and it would’ve taken him months to recover.”
“Yes,” Giles replied, his eyes dropping to the floor thoughtfully.
“He is a very lucky man.”
Dawn and Andrew both jumped up and down excitedly. Giles was
relieved, though still slightly distressed by Spike’s sudden
humanity and what it would mean for Buffy. Willow, however, was
still stuck on the word “home.”
* * * *
“Angel, c’mon!” Buffy shouted. They’d backed the car up to the
edge of the house, where the front door was luckily shaded by a
nearby oak tree. “Get in the trunk. We’ve got to get Connor to the
Angel darted past zombie arms swinging blindly at him and hopped
into the trunk of the car, his head butting into the corner of a
suitcase as he landed. Buffy made sure he was in and that nothing
had caught fire before closing the trunk and hopping into the back
seat. “Drive!” she shouted to Xander, who stepped onto the
“How’s he doing?”
Buffy turned towards the trunk to respond to the muffled voice.
“He’s alive,” she said, her tone clearly stating that Angel should
be grateful. She watched as Connor’s eyelids slowly drooped shut.
The boy was awfully pale, but Buffy wondered if that was because
of the state his body was in or because he had two vampires for
parents. As she gently placed his head in her lap she couldn’t
resist examining his features, looking for signs of Angel. She
could see the resemblance in the eyes, despite the fact that
Connor’s were blue, and it was almost startling. Buffy wasn’t very
familiar with his mother’s face, but from what she could remember
it was clear that there was more of Darla in him than Angel.
His eyes opened fully, as if he were startled. “Mom?” Connor
gasped, reaching towards Buffy’s face. “Is that you?”
Buffy pulled his hand out of the air and returned it to his side.
“Shh. It’s OK.” She blinked, suddenly overwhelmed with confusion.
Given different circumstances, though equally impossible
circumstances, this boy could’ve been her son.
“Er, Illyria?” said Xander cautiously, fearing another sudden
attack from the freakishly strong blue girl. The Old One turned
her eyes to him sharply. “Seatbelt.”
* * * *
“What happened?” the medic asked as they wheeled Connor through
the emergency room doors.
“He was wounded in battle,” answered Illyria.
“I-It was an accident,” Buffy covered, wincing at the medics’
puzzled expressions. “He got cut open pretty bad.”
“Let’s get him to Dr. Daley.”
Buffy put a hand on Illyria’s shoulder to stop her from following
Connor into the emergency room. “We stay here.”
Illyria turned to her. “He may need protection.”
“He needs help, which the doctors will give. Just,” Buffy eyed her
warily, unsure of how to talk to the demon-woman. “Just stay here
with the others.”
She turned to Angel, who was pulling his jacket down from over his
head. Luckily it was cloudy out, protecting him from direct
sunlight. “Where is he?” he asked desperately.
“They just took him to the ER. He should be fine,” she told him
“He needs mending?”
Buffy turned to Illyria. “What?”
“The boy – he needs mending? He can get that here?”
Illyria cocked her head to the side. “Odd.”
“Buffy!” Dawn squealed, running towards her sister. Her eyes
widened when she saw Angel, but she didn’t say anything. “Buffy,
Spike’s OK. The doctor said he woke up about five minutes ago.”
“Spike? He’s here?” said Angel.
Buffy looked torn. “Hold on, I’m going to find out if they’ll let
me see him.” She turned to Dawn and silently begged her to stay
with Angel, and Dawn nodded. Buffy met Angel’s eyes and the looks
they exchanged contained mixed emotions – betrayal, doubt, fear,
Angel watched her go and then turned to Dawn. “Spike’s alive?” he
asked pathetically, realizing fully what the signing over the
Shanshu had meant.
It’s my destiny.
* * * *
Once they allowed her entrance to his room she walked through the
door. Spike was laying on the bed, his eyes on the ceiling.
“Hey,” Buffy greeted him softly as she entered the room.
“Buffy,” he smiled, turning to her. “They fixed me, did you hear?”
She laughed as she stood by the bed. “I heard.”
“I can’ feel anything. It’s amazing,” he slurred. He had
the goofiest grin on his face. Buffy couldn’t help but smile
despite how nervous she felt.
“The miracle of modern medicine,” she replied, gripping onto the
bed railings. Even though he was better, this was still hard.
“You’re, um, you’re doctor says you should be good to go in a few
Spike giggled. “You’re so funny,” he laughed, holding onto her
hand. “I love you.”
Buffy blinked and pulled her hand away. Spike wasn’t phased. “You
get your sleep,” she said uneasily, touching him lightly on the
head before turning and walking out the door.
She could hear him chuckling as she left.
“Sleep, that’s funny.”